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January 16, 2014

That Pussy Riot – Yuri Kozyrev Shoot: Fashion as Defiance

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova prison uniforms

It looks like the propaganda battle between Putin and Pussy Riot has germinated the ultimate merger of politics and protest, celebrity and fashion. Back on the streets after serving 21 months of a two year prison sentence for performing a protest song, band members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, in alignment with NOOR’s gifted photographer, Yuri Kozyrev, use youth, beauty, glamour, shopping, culture, earnest conversation, dancing, landmark cityscape, citizen journalism, social freedom, of course, and new glossy pastel iPhone 5c’s in TIME’s almost-frolicking slideshow to refashion activism as allure.

As target, antagonist but otherwise classic backdrop, the Kremlin must regret letting go of that prison garb. Because what signifies uniform submission has here been turned inside out, the woman using the garments for martyrdom credit and the material of repudiation. The jacket as conscience couture, resistance is now what’s in vogue.

(photo: Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME)

  • black_dog_barking

    As Hollywood has shown us over and over, Cool is the ultimate currency. ( Anyone in thrall to a domestic cat knows this too. ) Pussy Riot is at the vanguard of cool, it pours from this image. It’s kinda hard to bet against an entrenched and adept Russian strong arm (near) dictator but in this case such a bet is conceivable.

  • bks3bks

    Hmm, I thought they were musicians.
    –bks

  • Ian

    Makes me think of Putin’s own fashion photos http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR2UVJN#a=1 . Image as evidence of “image”. I hope every fashionista in Russia starts wearing prison jackets. And Black Dog Barking; totally agree with you about Cool being the ultimate currency. It’s what makes American rock stars so powerful…. and so worthless when they sell out to sponsors.

  • LanceThruster

    I loved the doc on them. I like their attitudes regardless even when I’m less than impressed with what they’re doing musically.

  • Wolfenotes

    When will vogue resistance hit the US of A?

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